The Mental Health of People Living with HIV in China, 1998-2014: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Understanding the mental health burdens faced by people living with HIV in China is instrumental in the development of successful targeted programs for psychological support and care. METHODS: Using multiple Chinese and English literature databases, we conducted a systematic review of observational research (cross-sectional, case-control, or cohort) published between 1998 and 2014 on the mental health of people living with HIV in China. RESULTS: We identified a total of 94 eligible articles. A broad range of instruments were used across studies. Depression was the most widely studied problem; the majority of studies reported prevalence greater than 60% across research settings, with indications of a higher prevalence among women than men. Rates of anxiety tended to be greater than 40%. Findings regarding the rates of suicidality, HIV-related neurocognitive disorders, and substance use were less and varied. Only one study investigated posttraumatic stress disorder and reported a prevalence of 46.2%. Conflicting results about health and treatment related factors of mental health were found across studies. CONCLUSIONS: Despite limitations, this review confirmed that people living with HIV are vulnerable to mental health problems, and there is substantial need for mental health services among this population.

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Niu, L., Luo, D., Liu, Y., Silenzio, V. M. B., & Xiao, S. (2016). The Mental Health of People Living with HIV in China, 1998-2014: A Systematic Review. PloS One. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0153489

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